Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it, keep looking. Don’t settle”. At present times, choosing the right career path is one of the major challenges faced by the youth.
As one of the fastest developing nations in the world, India’s economy has been undergoing rapid changes and along with it, the industry and workplace has been witnessing a steadily rising demand for non-traditional and creative skills. Millennials today want to explore these emerging unconventional careers which they can relate to and which offer scope for their creativity to flourish.
But is the youth of today well informed about creative careers? Vocalising his observations, Rajit Gupta, director, Career Launcher, Agra says, “There has been a dramatic shift in the career choices being made by students over the past decade. Beyond engineering, chartered accountancy and medical studies, they are actively looking to pursue creative careers in Designing, Hotel Management, Mass Communication, Liberal Arts & Law. This trend is definitely very positive as we have witnessed several cases in the past where a student with a creative flair pursued, for example, engineering or medical studies but failed. Appreciating this fact, the CBSE has made Fine Arts a compulsory subject in its curriculum so as to ensure a good foundation for students who are interested in these careers.”
While the director of a career-launching company believes that vocation choices have undergone a noticeable shift, there are a number of students who credit similar perspectives. 20-year-old Shubhangi Gupta, a student of Ashoka University, Sonipat comments, “This is a question that has me split in half; while my experience with my educational institutions has been great I do know that there are still a lot of schools in India where career counselling only limits itself to which branch of science you want to pursue. I was fortunate enough to receive great career counselling when I was in 10th grade that helped me understand my aptitudes and interests better. I was also exposed to multiple career talks in school by professionals ranging across a variety of streams and disciplines. I was also fortunate to have had excellent teachers at my high school who helped cultivate my interest further and provided me with information about what I should do further. So yes, I do feel that educational institutions are keeping students well informed of the diverse array of careers, and the growing exposure to these disciplines on the internet is also helping spread awareness about careers that don’t fit the traditional engineer v/s doctor choice – the only choice for India’s bright and talented youth in the past.”
21-year-old Shraddha Somani, a student of Sophia College for Women, Mumbai, is keen on pursuing a career in the field of Psychology. She says, “Educational institutions now actually do take interest in all the fields regardless of the difference because it’s no longer the era of only doctors and engineers, a lot of students are choosing creative career paths so the institutions have tried to keep up as well.” Therefore it is evident that the primary level of change has started within educational institutions which is helping students identify what their passion is and helping them pursue it as well.
Lobsang Jimba Norbu, student of Christ (Deemed to be University) wants to pursue a career in Creative Design or Performing Arts. Well aware of the scope of his vocational choice, he remarks, “The competition in creative fields is very tough and the scope is limited but the work is good and it will obviously interest its pursuers. For me, aside from the money, the work is very important even though getting there is a long, tough journey. I’ve always wanted a job where I am nudged to change myself and I believe that can be done through creation. I’ve always wanted to think and create.”
At the present times, apart from educational institutions, parents too play a vital role in guiding his/her child determining their future. Parents these days are more than just an authoritative figure. They are a friend, a philosopher, a guide who analyses his/her child’s attitudes and interests.
Says Shubhangi, “I have been interested in pursuing a career in Clinical Psychology for quite a few years now. I had always had been deeply intrigued by the facets of understanding human behaviour and cognition and this interest had only further developed through my access to literature and resources on the subject of Psychology. Treating clinical disorders, improving the status of mental health in India and conducting research on the epidemiology of these disorders are few of my goals and this is why I decided to pursue Clinical Psychology. In addition, my parents have been fully supportive in my decision to pursue this stream despite both of them having been from a science background. I believe this is because I have been able to prove to them that I am serious about this career and that I have done the required research that helps me understand what I am getting myself into.”
Shraddha says, “My parents have been supportive of my dreams as they believe that a job done without the heart involved is not going to last long. There has never been any pressure on me for my career choices, even though I know that the creative career I have chosen offers considerably limited perks as of now. However, it’s expected to increase in the near future.”
The constant struggle between passion and money is the foundation for occupational decision making. Rajit adds, “It is said that passion is what one would do without pay. However, most people never realise what their passion in life is because they believe it is something that they are naturally good at. But students don’t realise that they have to find their passion because it is not something that is just handed to you on a platter. Profession is what you do to earn money, this could be a passion, it could also just be a job that allows you to pay the bills and enjoy your passion.
Knowing what your passion is and pursuing it as a profession is great but for most people not realistic; they don’t know what their passion is and if they do they are not aware how they can pursue it to make money with it. We are in the 21st century and today’s world is all about constant updating of skills that one possesses. One cannot be sacrosanct with what one would have done. Up-skilling is the need of the hour; traditional career options might be left behind soon. The world at present needs data scientists, actuaries, artificial intelligence and digital marketing experts which were previously not considered as professions. Since we will witness these changes every 10-20 years, the need of the hour is constant updation of skills.”
Today, there is increasing competition for high paid jobs but there is very little job growth. This is why it is essential for the young population to choose a career path that not only helps them pursue their passion but also brings out the best fron them! Technology and business evolve quickly, and new careers come and go just as fast. So it is important to choose a career that will be in high demand for the foreseeable future and sharpen your skills over time.